Future of Travel 2040

June 2020

Moving beyond the Coronavirus pandemic to look long term, Euromonitor International asks what will the future of travel be in 2040? We assess what will be the big shifts and drivers of tourism demand, what a sustainable future looks like and how brands and destinations will adapt to life post-Coronavirus (COVID-19). Finally, we take a futuristic look at how travel brands will digitally transform to deliver value-added, consumer-centric experiences that protect the triple bottom line.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Crisis, what crisis?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession, key drivers such as urbanisation, ageing population, the rise of Asia, digital transformation and sustainability will continue to shape the way that we live, work and travel.

New normal

Moving past the pandemic, the focus will gradually shift away from health and safety protocols to the growing climate emergency, especially as the 2030 deadline nears and the need to reach net zero carbon emissions intensifies.

Radical change

Younger generations such as millennials, and Generations Z and Alpha are more engaged with the climate emergency and will help to bring about the radical change in behaviour and attitudes as to how and why people travel.

Best in class

Brands and destinations that are set to last the test of time are where digital converges with experience and sustainability to create a powerful consumer offer that mitigates the negative impacts and enhances the positive effects.

Future personal

The future travel experience will be truly personalised, delivering seamless and safe services that are high value, low touch and putting people at the centre.

Automated service

New advances in technology will usher in a new era of automation, requiring upskilling for staff to provide greater levels of high-quality, personalised service.

Track and trace

Tracking climate impact across consumers, brands and destinations will be critical for building in resilience, agility and speed to deal with future risks.

No room for complacency

The alternative to achieving the 17 SDGs is unimaginable. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call to the actions governments can undertake to take back control to protect people and the next time, it may be to save the planet.


Key findings
Pandemic to dominate the global agenda in the short to mid term
Asian century: economic power will continue to pivot east
Disposable income takes a hit but will recover after three years
Urbanisation all the way, despite health risks from over-crowding
Income slowly gravitates to younger generations
Digital transformation to pick up the pace for emerging regions
Consumer behaviour: identifying permanent shifts (1)
Consumer behaviour: identifying permanent shifts (2)
Brief timeline of a sustainable future
Travel recovery post-COVID-19 to take minimum three years
Big data, analytics and AI to shape the future of travel businesses
Climate emergency and health crisis collide to drive purpose
Closing the gap between experiences and sustainability
Opportunity to reset and focus on the triple bottom line
Faroe Islands: immersing visitors during the global shutdown
Red Sea Development Company: double-down on smart sustainability
Marriott International: adapt and diversify revenue streams
Svart : giving back more to the local community
Uber Air: innovation to tackle environmental impact head on
Intrepid: sustainability is a journey over the long haul
MSC Cruises: embracing new technology to deliver on SDGs
Case study: Enfuce - personalised climate impact tracking
Introduction to the future of travel scenarios
Hotel of the future: human-centric experiences
Hotel of the future: people-driven interactions
Hotel of the future: modular and natural spaces
Future of air travel: seamless flow
Future of air travel: fast, smooth and efficient
Future of air travel: customised and enhanced passenger experience
Future of urban mobility: sci fi turned reality
Future of urban mobility: contextual and climate friendly
Future online travel agent
Future online travel agent: emotion-led destination mapping
Future negative scenario: business as usual
Positive scenario: targets on track


Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.

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